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Has the Swedish Business Sector Become More Entrepreneurial than the US Business Sector?

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  • Heyman, Fredrik
  • Norbäck, Pehr-Johan
  • Persson, Lars

Abstract

Recent studies document a 30-year decline in various measures of entrepreneurship in the U.S. Using detailed Swedish employer-employee data over the period 1990 to 2013, we find young firms to be more prominent in the Swedish business sector than in the U.S. business sector. Young Swedish firms, aged five years or less, account for more than half of all firms during this period. We also observe an increase in Swedish entrepreneurial activity for start-ups. However, increasing job destruction rates for young firms has implied a declining employment share for younger firms from the mid-2000s. Moreover, most of the job creation by young firms occurs in the expanding service sector. We discuss different explanations for why Sweden appears not to have the same strong decline in entrepreneurial activity as the U.S. has had during the last two decades. We argue that one important explanation is economic reforms in Sweden in the 1990s that mitigated several hurdles to entrepreneurship.

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  • Heyman, Fredrik & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2019. "Has the Swedish Business Sector Become More Entrepreneurial than the US Business Sector?," CEPR Discussion Papers 13683, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13683
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurship; industrial structure and structural change; job dynamics; Matched employer-employee data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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